An Insight into: Looking back on 2021
What a year! The Ashcroft team had a busy and productive 2021, though not without its challenges. We know times have been turbulent for many of our clients and it’s not been easy, but the last twelve months have also seen growth within our team and positive movement in all areas of our business
We asked our partners to reflect on what has happened in their sectors over the course of last year and share their thoughts with you.
One thing is true for us all; we’re looking forward to seeing what 2022 holds and are starting the new year with a surprisingly positive outlook – let’s crack on!
2021 gave us some ups and downs; the downs of course being the continued prevalence of Covid, its impact on client businesses and our ability to cement new relationships. But we have really enjoyed our team being back together (until recently!), embedding ourselves in our new offices and we have welcomed Fran to the partnership. It has also been great to get back out and meet our clients in person again, which has been my favourite aspect of the year.
Last year was busy! Very much good busy though, as opposed to what felt like bad busy for much of 2020. Great to see so many clients in person and even have a holiday or two. It’s clear our clients are resilient and have been bouncing back stronger than ever. The Ashcroft team go from strength to strength and despite the shine being taken off the end of the year, we are all very optimistic about 2022.
After a rocky start to the year things have got steadily worse for Boris. After the stinging criticism of the autumn budget increasing the UK tax burden to its highest level in 70 years, the government finally kicked the Office for Tax Simplification suggestions on proposed increases in CGT and wide-ranging changes to IHT into the long grass.
2021 was a year of monumental global events, from the pandemic and extreme weather to a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. So, where’s the cause for optimism as we look forward to 2022? There were signs of the world coming together at the recent COP26, and hopes that once all are fully boosted we’ll be able to wave goodbye to the pandemic. But with Russia and China flexing their muscles, who knows what 2022 will bring.
Closer to home, a sparkly new Ashcroft office and a record year for M&A transactions have been highlights, but, more importantly, we’ve been able to work with fabulous clients at the forefront of efforts to meet some of the challenges of the 21st century – businesses in cyber security, telemedicine and green energy. We’ve completed deals from £2m to over £100m, and had a bit of fun along the way.
For the most part life just seemed to get better through 2021 – everything recovered against a pretty negative backdrop of 2020 be it business or social activity. Farming wise harvest was ok, prices strong and the autumn has been the best for 20 years. Let properties performed a lot better than expectation. Then the budget followed by Omicron, inflation news, and without the prospect of gallons more government cash pouring in, the future is looking all together more challenging. Let’s work together to come up with some plans for 2022.
2021 was another challenging year, but one which I believe we came through strongly, with the support of a wonderful team and clients.
Recruitment of candidates at the right level remains a tough and competitive challenge in the current environment, but we ended 2021 inviting some great talent to join our team in the new year! We hope to continue our acquisition drive, to steadily grow our team in 2022.